What is Tumescent Liposuction?
Tumescent Liposuction is the use of traditional liposuction techniques for stubborn fat removal with smaller liposuction cannulas and the use of Tumescent Anesthesia. Tumescent anesthesia was developed in 1987 by Dr. Jeffrey Klein, a dermatologist. The Tumescent technique allows liposuction procedures to be performed in an office-based procedure room while the patient is fully conscious and able to interact with their surgeon. Tumescent anesthesia consists of 0.9% sodium chloride (normal saline), a salt and water solution that is similar in concentration to the bodies natural salt and water make up. Added to the normal saline is epinephrine which causes blood vessels to constrict significantly reducing the amount of blood loss and bruising compared to the use of general anesthesia alone. Lidocaine, the anesthetic, which causes the nerves in the tissues to lose the sensation of pain. The effect of the anesthesia will be felt for up to 24 hours without the need of intravenous or oral narcotic medications. Lidocaine is acidic and burns when infiltrated into the tissue being anesthetized. This burning sensation is eliminated by the addition of sodium bicarbonate, a base to the tumescent fluid that buffers the acidic nature of the lidocaine.
Is Tumescent Liposuction Safe?
Yes, in fact, many doctors would agree that Liposuction under tumescent technique is a much safer option because it minimizes the risk of excessive surgical bleeding and other great dangers that are associated with the older forms of liposuction.
What are the risks of Tumescent Liposuction?
As with any medication, the use of tumescent anesthesia carries risk of allergic reaction. The major risk of tumescent anesthesia is lidocaine toxicity. The risk of lidocaine toxicity is nearly eliminated by calculating the maximum dose of lidocaine that can be safely used during the procedure. The maximum dose is easily calculated and avoided using your own body weight. Therefore significantly reducing the risk of toxicity.
Additional Benefits of Tumescent Liposuction:
Unknown to most prospective liposuction patients 100% tumescent anesthesia eliminates:
- The need for, risk of general anesthesia and the cost associated with its use
- The need for and cost of a anesthesiologist
- Larger amounts of blood loss and bruising associated with liposuction without tumescent anesthesia
- Intravenous fluid replacement, the risk of volume overload (over replacement) and subsequent pulmonary edema (fluid in the lung tissue)
- Intravenous (IV) narcotics and their associated risk
- Intravenous sedation and its associated risk
- High cost of a hospital operating room or ambulatory surgical care center
The development of Tumescent Anesthesia has allowed many cosmetic procedures that were previously restricted to a hospital and operating room, to be safely performed in the office setting. In addition to liposuction of all areas, natural breast augmentation, autologous fat transfer and even abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) are now being performed under 100% tumescent anesthesia without general anesthesia.
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